The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), AutoNation beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded, and earnings per share expanded.
Margins shrank across the board.
AutoNation reported revenue of $3.68 billion. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ foresaw revenue of $3.54 billion. Sales were 13% higher than the prior-year quarter's $3.25 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.51. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.49 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.50 for Q4 were 13% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.44 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 15.7%, 110 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 3.9%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.9%, 20 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $3.46 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.48.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $14.68 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.15.
The stock has a one-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 154 members out of 223 rating the stock outperform, and 69 members rating it underperform. Among 77 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 58 give AutoNation a green thumbs-up, and 19 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on AutoNation is hold, with an average price target of $32.00.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.